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23rd May, 2022

CRICKET - Warwickshire thrashed by Somerset to suffer first defeat of title defence

SOMERSET rounded off a resounding team display by defeating Warwickshire by an innings and 82 runs inside three days of their LV=Insurance County Championship game at Taunton.

After starting with three successive defeats, Tom Abell’s side is well and truly up and running after they completely outplayed the champions.

They swiftly took Warwickshire’s last first innings wicket in the morning to secure a first innings lead of 249, then bowled them out for 167 second time round.

Jack Brooks led the way with four for 44 but it was a hugely impressive collective effort with all five bowlers used getting among the wickets and maintaining pressure on the batsmen.

Sam Hain (43, 116 balls) and Will Rhodes (29, 93 balls) added 68 in 30 overs but it was an isolated show of defiance in an innings in which two wickets fell within five balls on four occasions.

Warwickshire resumed on the third morning on 197 for nine and secured their first batting point in the first over but didn’t get much further. Davey teased a fatal nick from Olly Hannon-Dalby to finish with three for 40.

With the follow on enforced, Somerset’s bowlers were soon back out there with their tails up and reduced Warwickshire’s second innings  to 21 for three in the 16th over. They were backed up by superb catching as Craig Overton took a blinder at third slip to remove Alex Davies off Davey and was then the happy bowler when Dom Sibley edged to Tom Abell at fourth slip. When Rob Yates top-edged a pull at Brooks, Tom Lammonby judged the catch perfectly at mid on.

Hain and Rhodes applied themselves valiantly before perishing in  successive overs in mid-afternoon. Rhodes offered no shot to a ball from Jack Leach which turned sharply into his stumps. Five balls later, Hain lifted a leg-side delivery from Brooks straight to short fine leg where Overton had just been deployed for that very shot.

That plan having worked a treat, Somerset celebrated wildly as Brooks wheeled away to the mid-wicket boundary where he was joined by all his team mates. That got the crowd involved and, fuelled by their encouragement, Brooks added three more wickets in 17 balls. Michael  Burgess and Danny Briggs edged to wicketkeeper Steven Davies and Nathan McAndrew sliced to Matt Renshaw at second slip.

Ther rout was rounded off shortly after tea by another two wickets in five balls. A superb grab at second slip by Renshaw disposed of Craig Miles off Overton then Lamb (40, 80 balls) missed a pull at Leach to end Somerset’s long wait for a championship victory.

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